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What do veterinary studies look like in college? How difficult are they, how many years, and what would my career path look like?

I've wanted to be a veterinarian since I was little but got scared of the difficulty in college. I'm still very very curious and interested if I should focus on it again.

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George’s Answer

I went through a Pre-Med program at my university. Many pre-Vet students attended the same classes, like the pre-requesite courses such as Physics, Biology, Calculus, etc. The Pre-Med program is demanding and rigorous. Remember you also have to select a major and mine was Biology with an emphasis on Molecular Biology. This sort of scenario also applies to Pre-Vet students. But, even though you will be studying a lot, you will enjoy other aspects of the College experience as well. My cousin is a Veterinarian who attended Veterinary School in Italy and did a Residency at Purdue University. She worked primarily as a surgeon most of her career in a well-known Veterinary facility in Boston, MA. She was also sent to India during her career to treat animals injured as a result of a Tsunami in that part of the world. In India she was privileged to treat animals like tigers, elephants, etc. She was also trained to treat pain in animals with accupuncture during her career. In short, she loved her chosen career. Good luck to you!
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Zoey’s Answer

When I was younger I also wanted to be a veterinarian and like you, lost focus of it. As I got closer to graduating high school I decided to study pre requisites for veterinary school because I knew I was meant to work with animals. As I was in college I learned that it wasn't for me, but I still wanted to have a career in the veterinary field. Which is why I decided to attend veterinary technician school. And it is one of the best choices I made! So on that note, veterinary school is very hard and very hands on. Pre requisites are hard enough on there own and you have to work extremely hard just to get into a veterinary school. Once you get in, it's just as hard. But if you're not sure what you want to do you can volunteer at shelters, find a job in a vet clinic, or shadow veterinarians in your area. You can also go and take a tour of veterinarian schools to see what their curriculum and program is like. Roughly school will take you about 8 years but if you want to become a vet tech instead ;) it'll take you around 2-3 years. I say if vet school seems like too much but you still want to work in the vet field then you can look into vet tech schools because they are also very hands on, even more so then vets, in my opinion. I hope that helps and good luck with your future endeavors!!
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Sharon’s Answer

I would look at curricula from actual veterinary programs! You can find these online. You can also consult with an advisor from one of these schools.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Sharon! Valeria
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Sarah’s Answer

If you're interested in the veterinary field, the first thing I'd recommend is getting some exposure to it directly via volunteering at a clinic, etc to determine if that is the path you would like to take! The path can be a long one so knowing that this is the goal you want to work toward is an important first step. The total years in school is usually 8 years - 4 years of an undergraduate education and then 4 years of veterinary school. In order to apply for veterinary school there are a variety of classes that you must take during your undergraduate years although you usually can major in any subject you choose. The requirements include many science and math classes - such as biology, chemistry, physics. So the difficulty of these classes depends on your interest and aptitude for these subjects. It's not an "easy" path to become a veterinarian for sure! After becoming a veterinarian, your career path can vary depending on your interests - small animal, large animal, lab animal, industry, other. There are also numerous specialties within each of these that can be pursued after vet school via obtaining internships and residencies.
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